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Cleveland Indians changing name to Guardians

The franchise has been known as the Indians since 1915.

Cleveland Indians pitcher Sam Hentges (31) pitches against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning at Target Field on Sunday,June 27, 2021. Brad Rempel / USA TODAY Sports

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians will become the Cleveland Guardians.

The team announced the eventual name change with a roughly two-minute video that was tweeted out Friday morning and narrated by Tom Hanks, a Cleveland fan. The video also featured The Black Keys.

Roughly a year after the team announced that it was considering a name change and six months after committing to doing so, one has been selected.

"We are excited to usher in the next era of the deep history of baseball in Cleveland," team owner Paul Dolan said in a statement. "Cleveland has and always will be the most important part of our identity. Therefore, we wanted a name that strongly represents the pride, resiliency and loyalty of Clevelanders. 'Guardians' reflects those attributes that define us while drawing on the iconic Guardians of Traffic just outside the ballpark on the Hope Memorial Bridge. It brings to life the pride Clevelanders take in our city and the way we fight together for all who choose to be part of the Cleveland baseball family. While 'Indians' will always be a part of our history, our new name will help unify our fans and city as we are all Cleveland Guardians."

The team in June announced that nearly 1,100 names had been considered during the process, which included the surveying of 40,000 fans, along with community leaders.


Cleveland has gone by the team name "Indians" since 1915.

The Guardians name is a nod to the art deco figures — the Guardians of Traffic — which have stood along the Hope Memorial Bridge since 1932. As cited by Cleveland Magazine, Wilbur Watson, the bridge's engineer, once wrote that the figures were meant to "typify the spirit of progress in transportation." This was one of the more popular city-centric options, as the Guardians figures have also been featured on the banner across from Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Guardians is also the name of a roller derby team in the city.

©2021 Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

The Cleveland Indians are changing the team's name to the Guardians starting in the 2022 season. Image courtesy of

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